Edward, a college drop-out, unlucky in love, and a self-professed "loser" finds himself at the end of his rope. His girlfriend, Irina, has ditched him at the last moment, right before the family Christmas dinner Edward's planned to bring her to, and thanks to an untimely phone call from his mother, his family thinks Irina is still coming.

A series of uncomfortable moments later—including awkward phone calls to his exes, a terrible trip to the mall with his best friend where they are escorted out by security, and a run in with a schizophrenic who thinks Edward is trying to take her into a secret government lab—and Edward has Isabella—an angry, former lawyer who's dedicated her life to charity work—handcuffed in his car, blackmailed, and forced into pretending to be his girlfriend. As the holiday stretches on and the charade he's involved in becomes less and less a lie, Edward is only sure of one thing: he should stop listening to Jake.

Pre-Read by: Pandora's Box Is Heavy

Beta'd by: Midnight Cougar

Edward Cullen is a loser.

It's a fact. Edward Cullen is an uncool, no good, college dropout, dateless loser.

And he's starting to think that's never going to change.

"So, she just broke it off? And left the country? Just like that?"

Edward takes a swig from the tequila bottle. It's late enough—and he's drunk enough—not not care about the lack of shot glasses or cups, or the lack of salt or lemons, and really, by now he's so numb he doesn't even feel the burn as he gulps down the alcohol.

And it's still not numb enough.

"Yeah," he says, and takes another drink before passing the bottle to Jake. Except he's sprawled out on the entire couch, which means Jake is in the ragged arm chair four feet away, and he can't quite get the bottle to him. It slips from his fingers and Jake dives for it, saving the tequila from falling to the floor and dumping all over Edward's ugly, brownish-green carpet. The move looks impossibly fast to Edward and he entertains the thought that for the first time ever, he may actually be drunker than Jake.

Drunker. More drunk? The drunkest.

That's right. He is the drunkest. The drunkest drunk who ever drunked.

He would think that is something to be proud of, since it's never happened before. But being more trashed than Jake—a man who considers getting wasted every other night and waking up still drunk in a stranger's house to take a piss in a corner before passing out again, as a positive use of his time—is not exactly something Edward has ever aspired to.

Just more proof that his current loser status is not likely to change.

"That sucks, man." Jake takes his own gulp of tequila, and Edward decides this is good. He doesn't like being drunker than Jake.

More drunk. Whatever.

"Yeah," he says again. Even though he's not sure exactly what they're talking about anymore.

"So, did she tell you why she was suddenly fleeing the country?"

Oh right. Irina. Irina who he dated for two months. Irina who was funny and sweet, if a little weird and out there, and who might have had an unhealthy obsession with the Prince of England, but who didn't have any family in Washington and had agreed to go with Edward down to Forks for Christmas. Irina, who was supposed to be the proof that Edward isn't wasting away his life in Loserdom. That even if he has no college degree, a job he hates, an apartment that comes with moldy walls, a fridge that likes to stop working every now, and a carpet so old and stained that he isn't sure what color it originally used to be, he's at least successful in one aspect of his life.

Irina, who called Edward less than eight hours ago to break up with him, give her apologies for missing out on Christmas dinner, and explain that she was leaving the country for an uncertain amount of time.

Fucking Irina.

Edward sighs and makes gimme motions toward the bottle, remembering why he'd set out to be so drunk to begin with. "I don't know, Jake. She said something about gathering the minions and completing the final plans for her mass world take over or something. I'm not sure."

Jake pauses in the act of handing over the tequila, contemplating this. "Irina's fucking nuts, dude."

Edward pouts at the bottle—just out of reach—and sighs again. "Yeah."

"Guess there's only one thing for you to do," Jake says, voice somber and full of wisdom.

Edward blinks blearily at him. "What's that?"

Jake slaps the tequila bottle in Edward's still outreached hand. "Drink more."

Edward's cool with that.